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J.K. Rowling’s Inspiring Speech On Overcoming Failure

 

Ms. Rowling´s speech deals with various issues, not only with the enrichening effect of failing and rebuild and restart, but also with the empathic magic of imagining other realities and people´s lives.

“Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale.

An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.

The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.

Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized. I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea.

And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Via J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech

 

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Do I Make Myself Clear by Harold Evans.jpgDo I Make Myself Clear?: Why Writing Well Matters.

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British-born journalist and writer Harry Evans was editor of the Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981. He has edited everything from the urgent files of battlefield reporters to the complex thought processes of Henry Kissinger. He's even been knighted for his services to journalism.

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